The Ohio State men’s volleyball team returned to St. John Arena in winning fashion, defeating Lees-McRae in straight sets, 25-16, 25-14 and 25-16. It was the Buckeyes first straight-set win since the season opener against Charleston on Jan. 4.
Ohio State (7-14, 2-6 MIVA) dominated the Bobcats (2-14, 0-10 CC) from start to finish in a match which saw multiple Buckeyes see extended time on the court for the first time this season. Both of Ohio State’s leading scorers — sophomore opposite hitter Jake Hanes and sophomore outside hitter Martin Lallemand — were kept out of the match to rest.
Leading 7-4 in the second set, Ohio State strung together an 8-1 run, including a kill and an ace by redshirt junior middle blocker Jamie Wolmering and two kills by redshirt sophomore Tyler Alter. Six Buckeye kills and four Bobcat errors pushed Ohio State to the 25-14.
In his first appearance since March 3, Wolmering totaled five kills, two aces and three blocks.
Also, receiving extended time on the court in the match were redshirt freshman Robbie Murphy, redshirt sophomore Jason Bruggemann, and junior outside hitter Shawn Hughes. They combined for 16 of the Buckeyes 41 kills, and Hughes led all Buckeyes with nine kills, three aces and eight digs, also assisting on one block.
The Buckeyes came out firing in the first set, riding three aces and a kill by Hughes to seven-straight points and a 9-2 lead. Two more aces by Wolmering and redshirt senior middle blocker Blake Leeson and a .500 hitting percentage propelled Ohio State to a 25-16 victory in the set.
Junior setter Andrew Hillman assisted 10 kills in the first set but was substituted for senior setter Sanil Thomas to start the second set. Thomas, who’s still recovering from a right hand injury he sustained in late January, totaled 25 assists, two digs and one block in his two sets of play.
The Bobcats struggled offensively for much of the match, finishing with a .000 hitting percentage off of 16 kills and 16 errors on 58 attacks. Senior middle blocker Hector Serviat led the team with five kills and ten digs, adding one assist and a block.
While the Buckeyes committed 18 service errors to the Bobcats nine, Lees-McRae was unable to string enough points together to mount a comeback. The match was tied three times in the first two sets, but the Bobcats could never catch the lead.
In the third set, Ohio State used a kill by Hughes and three Bobcat attack errors to jump out to a quick 4-0 lead. Lees-McRae mustered three kills and an ace the rest of the set while committing 10 errors, helping the Buckeyes cruise to a 25-16 set victory, taking the match in three sets.
Ohio State closes out its non-conference schedule at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania.